Envy or Jealousy?
Envy or Jealousy?What is the difference between "envy" and "jealousy"?
"Jealousy" is an emotion related to your things (usually a person in a relationship). "Envy" is an emotion related to someone else's things.
In other words, the difference between "envy" and "jealousy" is linked to the person or thing being desired. Typically, "jealousy" is a three-person situation, but "envy" is a two-person situation. For example:
- I am filled with jealousy when you speak to my girlfriend. (Here, there are three people involved.)
- I am filled with envy over your new house. (Here, there are two people involved.)
More about "Envy" and "Jealousy"Even though the words "envy" and "jealousy" are used interchangeably these days, there is a clear distinction between the two words that is still observed by language purists.
Jealousy over My Things but Envy over Your ThingsThe noun "jealousy" describes a negative emotion caused by an attack on something we already have (usually a person in a relationship). It contrasts with "envy," which is a negative emotion caused by wanting something owned by someone else (usually a possession or a personal trait).
- I felt jealous when you danced with my wife. ("Jealousy" is about protecting something you already have.)
- I felt envious of your good looks. ("Envy" is about wanting something somebody else has.)
- I'm really jealous of your new car. (This should be "envious" not "jealous.")